MOSCOW, October 23 (RIA Novosti) - China has indicated its opposition to sending North Korea to the International Criminal Court because of human rights abuses, casting doubt on the prospects of the DPKR facing examination of its record.
The Associated Press on Thursday reported Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying, who said in a regularly scheduled news conference: “We think bringing human rights issues to the International Criminal Court won't help improve the human rights condition in a country,” and reiterated the Chinese view that human right issues should be dealt with by “dialogue and cooperation on the basis of equality and mutual respect.”
Beijing was responding to renewed calls made on Wednesday to take North Korea to the ICC by the head investigator into allegations of human rights abuses, Michael Kirby. According to Reuters, Kirby told reporters the UN is "about to face a moment of truth" regarding the resolution, and that if China uses its Security Council veto against a referral to the ICC it will have to “stand before the world.” Kirby also noted that China has used its veto just 10 times since taking its permanent seat on the Security Council.
Kirby’s report, published in March 2014, found that “crimes against humanity have been committed in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, pursuant to policies established at the highest level of the State,” and proposed options including “Security Council referral of the situation to the International Criminal Court or the establishment of an ad hoc tribunal by the United Nations.”
At the beginning of this month the European Union and Japan made a draft resolution for the UN General Assembly's human rights committee pressing for sanctions against the regime, and also an ICC referral. The Associated Press reports that at Wednesday’s meeting in New York, North Korean officials showed up to deny the allegations against the regime, with Kim Ju Song, a North Korean foreign ministry adviser, protesting that “we can't let lies pass at the United Nations."
The DPKR is feeling the heat of scrutiny over allegations of human rights abuses, and on Tuesday released one of three American detainees being held in the country, in an effort to stem the bad publicity. In September the country released its own report on the subject, in which it professed to have "the world's most advantageous human rights system.”